Fort St. John could go over snow removal budget if precipitation amounts continue next month

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — If December’s snowfall amount is on track with the trends in October and November, which each saw roughly three times the monthly average of the white stuff, the  City of Fort St. John could go over its road snow removal budget.

The City’s Communications Coordinator Julie Rogers said that in 2017, the city budgeted roughly $1.4 million for snow removal. Rogers said that despite the dump of snow that fell in mid-April, the first four months of 2017 were pretty light for snow removal, leaving the City’s snow removal budget in good shape. However, she said that the record snowfall in late October and the heavy snows that have fallen this month have started to put a strain on the City’s budget.

Rogers explained that contract services and staff overtime have cost $163,000 alone since November 12th. The City also spent $75,000 during the last snow haul-off operation, and are currently halfway through another, meaning that the cost of snow removal will exceed this year’s budget if the city continues to see above-average snow.

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According to Victor Shopland, the City’s General Manager of Integrated Services, the last time the city exceeded its snow removal budget was in 2013, though only by $29,000. Shopland also explained that the city does have a contingency fund of a half-million dollars if snow removal operations end up costing more than budgeted this year.

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